Dave and I had our first real date at a Max & Erma's and went there a million times after that. I always used to order the same thing--French onion soup and potstickers and those super delicious warm chocolate chip cookies. So random, but so yummy. On one fateful visit they were out of my favorite soup, but our waiter talked me into trying the other option, tortilla soup, and I loved it! I loved it so much that I went home and googled it and found a copycat recipe that tastes so much like the original that I can't even tell the difference. It's so yummy--creamy and cheesy, a little spicy, super filling, perfecto! I've made this soup many times and everyone always goes back for seconds. The recipe makes a ton so it's great for company and it also freezes and reheats really well...there's just one drawback. It involves opening what seems like a million cans.
See what I mean? Whenever Kinley's Aunt Peanut comes to visit, I always make this soup and it's her job to open all the cans and dump them in, but this would also be a great job for older kids.

Okay, recipe time:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red chili powder
1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cans Cream of Chicken soup
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cans Cream of Celery soup
2 cans Cheddar Cheese soup (you can amp up the spicy factor by using the fiesta cheddar soup)
1 32 oz box of chicken stock 
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chunky salsa
1 4 1/2 oz can diced green chiles
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the chicken and onion with the chili powder in the olive oil over medium heat until chicken is almost cooked through. Toss in the minced garlic and finish cooking.

Now, start dumping! Every other ingredient goes in now...
Give it a quick whisk...
That looks much better. Now, all you've gotta do is bring it up to a boil and then drop the the heat down to medium low and cover it. You've gotta stir it pretty often, but just let it cook and develop the flavors for about half an hour.
When you think it's ready, just plop some in a bowl and top it with shredded cheddar and crunched up tortilla chips. 
We always have tons left over. If Aunt Peanut is here, we just eat it over and over for lunch every day of her visit while watching Roseanne in our jammies, at least that was how it went pre-Kinley. But, if she isn't here to help me gorge on this delicious stuff, I usually just freeze it in big Tupperware containers. I've never left it in the freezer for more than a month, so I'm not sure just how long you could save it. But when you are ready to reheat, just toss the tub in the fridge a couple of days before you want it for dinner and then just heat it up on the stove. It always tastes just like it did the first time. 
I know it sounds weird to mix all those cans of soup together, but trust me, it all comes together in a super yummy way. 


  1. If I come to visit, can I have some of Aunt Peanut's soup? It looks great and I love the idea of the crunchy chips on top!

    1. I will definitely make you some of Aunt Peanut's soup, but only if you open all the cans! :)

  2. Opening all those cans is tough work but somebody has to do it:)! My favorite soup of all time for sure!

    1. You are the best can opener I have ever known, Peanut ;)